Preston's League is a 501 C-3 charitable organization committed to providing basic necessities to patients and their families through a weekly wish list program within the Duke Pediatric Bone Marrow Department (DBMT).
Preston's League was founded by Celeste and James Winslow in memory of their son, Preston, who passed away following a long battle fighting Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Preston was diagnosed at the age of 2 and over the next 2 1/2 years, he spent 498 days in-patient at both Texas Children's (where he was 1st diagnosed, relapsed, and had a bone marrow transplant) and Duke Children's Hospital (3 months after moving to Durham, NC for his Dad's job, we heard that horrible news that Preston relapsed for a second time and hoped we could get him to a 2nd bone marrow transplant).
While at Texas Children's, it was there that the organization called B.I.G. Love, made such an impact not only for our family, but over the years, for thousands of others. We had only lived in Houston, TX for about 3 months after Preston's Dad started a residency at MD Anderson, when Preston was diagnosed. Our closest family was in Florida and in New York and while we were very fortunate to have family come in and help with our daughters, it was also the help of B.I.G. Love that made our many, many days inpatient more manageable. Week after week we looked forward to their wish list deliveries.
After moving to Durham, NC on day 100 post bone marrow transplant, we transferred Preston's care to Duke. It was 3 months later we heard the unimaginable news that our son's cancer had returned.
DBMT had many great things to help patients and their families while inpatient but while one parent stayed every night at the hospital with Preston and the other left very late at night with our two very young girls, trying to spend as much time as we could with Preston as a family, there were many nights that we found ourselves stopping at Target at 10-11 at night to grab some things that we needed or wanted,. What we realized we missed while inpatient over the next 6 months was the weekly wish list program that we were fortunate to have at Texas Children's.
For nearly 5 years after Preston passed away, we talked about how we could give back and because of the generosity while at Texas Children's, we created and started Preston's League and delivered our first weekly wish list in September of 2018. Preston's League wants to help make a difference for the patients and families so that these families can avoid wasting precious family time shopping, while also relieving them of some of the financial burdens not covered by insurance.
- At the beginning of every week, a wish list form will be delivered to and collected from each patient/family on the Duke Pediatric Bone Marrow Floor. Volunteers will then go out and shop up to $25 for those items and deliver the items back to the patients by the end of the week.
- It is our goal that we will be able to serve all families on the 16 room Duke Pediatric Bone Marrow Unit. It is also our hope that we could grow Preston's League to include the Duke Pediatric Cancer Patients (34 rooms) in the near future.